I got my brain ticking around the idea: Can Ferrets eat Avocado? Now, I didn’t have this question out of anywhere. In the past few days, I saw my ferret getting all big and bulky. Not that I didn’t like it, but I started having concerns over his health.
As I was eating my avocado, which is great for weight loss, I thought I could also incorporate this fruit into my ferret’s diet. And hence, the question!
While I was on my research spree, I discovered that the answer to Can ferrets Eat Avocado is a big NO. Not only are they harmful to ferrets, but they can also cause some serious ailments in these furry creatures.
Read on to get a complete understanding of the ill effects of avocados on ferrets.
Can Ferrets Eat Avocado?
Feeding ferrets to avocados is a complete NO. Since ferrets are strict carnivores, their short digestive tract is designed by nature to only digest and absorb the nutrients from meat. Your furry friend only needs proteins and fats in his diet.
Ferrets are unable to digest food high in sugar and fiber content, and complex carbohydrates. The reason for this is the missing caecum in their digestive tract which is responsible for secreting the bacteria which can break down the sugar and fiber and digest it.
If we talk about the nutritional information of 100 grams of avocado, it contains 6.7 grams of fiber.
Your ferret’s body will be unable to digest this high amount of fiber, and hence it is best that you do not serve avocados to your furry friend.
Why Are Avocados Harmful For Ferrets? Top 7 Reasons
The adverse effects of avocados are something that cannot be passed off easily. Let’s take a quick look at them.
1. Avocados Are Poisonous For Ferrets
Avocados, which are considered as “superfood” for humans, owing to their nutritional value and healthy fat content, are on the contrary extremely poisonous to ferrets.
You might be surprised to know that Avocados contain a toxin called “persin”. Persin is basically a fungicidal toxin, which scientifically is an oil soluble compound, and has a structure similar to fatty acids.
Persin seeps into the entire fruit from the fruit seeds. While the ripe pulp of avocado has a lower content of persin, the concentration of persin is high in the seed and the outer skin of the avocado.
While humans are capable of digesting persin, ferrets and other small pets lack this capability, and hence, persin can turn out to be extremely toxic and life threatening for your furry friend.
Persin can cause intestinal poisoning in your ferret, leading to vomiting and diarrhea.
Thus, we can consider that avocado is one of the most dangerous fruits for your ferret, and should be avoided. This should not be served even in the form of treats to your furry friend.
2. Your Ferret Can Choke up on Avocado
Since avocados are a bit hard in nature, it is highly possible that your ferret might choke up on a piece of avocado, leading to blockage in the digestive tract.
Take a look at this useful video on blockage in ferrets, that can help a ferret owner in a tight situation.
3. Avocados Can Damage Your Ferret’s Teeth
If you notice closely, your furry friend has small teeth and does not have the chewing molars. Due to this, while trying to chew on a piece of avocado, your furry friend can damage his oral mucosa.
Apart from this, the high calories in avocado can also cause tooth decay in your ferret. Hence, make sure that you maintain your furball’s dental hygiene regularly.
4. Avocados Have a High Fiber Content Leading to Intestinal Diseases
With a fiber content of 6.7 grams for every 100 grams of avocado, this fruit can cause severe intestinal problems in your furry friend.
Your ferret might suffer from intestinal issues like indigestion, weight loss, diarrhea, and gastroenteritis. In severe cases, prolonged intake of avocado can also lead to intestinal cancer in ferrets.
5. Improper Nutrition Can Lead to Hairballs in Your Ferret
Avocados are a complete misfit if we take into consideration a ferret’s ideal diet. Hence, by feeding avocado, you are risking your ferret’s health.
Improper diet can lead to hair fall in your ferret. This will ultimately lead to hairballs in your ferret. Now, as opposed to several other animals, your ferret does not have the capability to cough out the hairballs.
So, this can also lead to blockage along your ferret’s stomach line.
You can try out these very useful soft chews which work wonders for hairball support.
6.Avocados Can Lead to Bladder Stones and Urinary Tract Infections
Your ferret can be susceptible to bladder stones and urinary tract infections if there is an accumulation of a compound called calcium oxalate in its body. Now, this compound is found in the plant based fruits and vegetables, and can also be found in avocado.
So, an increased intake of avocado can lead to an accumulation of this hazardous compound in your furry friend’s body leading to the formation of stones.
The formation of stones can lead to inflammation in your ferret’s urinary tract, which can be extremely painful to him.
Your pet ferret can show the below symptoms if he is suffering from stones and inflammation:
- Loss of appetite
- Drop in energy levels, causing lethargy and weakness
- Pain and uneasiness while passing urine
- Urine passed can be too much or too little.
- Cloudy and unclear urine
If you see your ferret experiencing pain and discomfort, you should immediately consult a vet who specializes in exotic pets. And of course, should never feed your ferret avocado again!
7. Avocado Pits Can Be Extremely Dangerous For Your Ferret
Your ferret might have a delusion that the avocado pits are some sort of toys. And we can’t blame him! After all, the pits do appear like small toy balls.
Ferrets being inquisitive in nature, can try and investigate the avocado pit, by licking and chewing. There are mainly 2 reasons why this can be dangerous:
- The pit has a high amount of the toxic substance persin, which if consumed in large quantity can cause the death of a ferret
- The pit can be swallowed by your ferret leading to an extreme case of choking
Hence, make sure that the avocado pits are away from your ferrets. And give them ample toys so that they do not go in search of other toys.
Check out these toys which come in the form of assorted fruits and veggies for your furry friend.
Can Ferrets Eat Avocado in Moderation?
Considering the fact that avocados contain a toxic substance called persin, and possess a great risk of choking, ferrets should not be allowed to eat avocados in moderation.
Can Ferrets Die From Eating Avocados?
If ferrets consume avocados for a long time, frequently, then the persin toxicity can prove to be fatal for ferrets, leading to their death.
Apart from this, the adverse effects of avocado cannot be neglected. These effects can lead to many severe illnesses in ferrets like intestinal blockage, stones, and choking hazards.
Thus, avocados can directly lead to your ferret’s death or can cause grave illnesses that can indirectly prove fatal to your furry friend.
Warning Signs to Look Out for After Feeding Avocados to Ferrets
If under any circumstances, your ferret has eaten an avocado, or you have given it as a treat to your ferret, even though it is not at all recommended, you should always watch out for the signs of warning.
Acting quickly on these warning signs can prevent any major illness in your ferret. This is particularly more important for baby ferrets and older ferrets, who have a low metabolism.
1. A Choking Ferret
A hard avocado chunk and the absence of chewing molars make the chances of choking extremely high in ferrets. You should always look out for your ferret, in case he chokes on the avocado or the avocado pit.
2. Abnormal Poop
The high fiber content of avocado can cause few abnormalities in your ferret’s poop. The poop might appear runny, or grainy, or sticky. All this simply indicates that your ferret’s body is unable to properly process the avocado, and it should not be served to your furry friend.
Check out our extensive ferret poop guide that we have described here.
Can Ferrets Eat Fruits?
Fruits are high in sugar and fiber content. And low in fats and protein. Hence, you can understand that fruits, in no way fit into the perfect diet plan for ferrets.
So, it is best that you do not add fruits to your ferret’s diet. However, if you wish to add some, maybe in the form of a treat, or simply because your furry friend likes the tangy taste of fruits, you can select one of the fruits from below, as they are comparatively less harmful to your ferret.
Surprisingly, pumpkin acts as a great laxative for ferrets. If your ferret suffers from a hairball, you can give 1 to 2 tablespoon of pumpkin paste, 4 to 5 times a day. Make sure you stop feeding pumpkin once the issue has been resolved.
Moreover, always avoid serving grapes and raisins, as they are very toxic and can lead to kidney failure in your ferret.
Ideal Ferret Diet
Being obligate carnivores, a ferret’s ideal diet should consist of only protein and fat. Your furry friend requires a balanced diet, consisting of 30 – 40% protein along with 15 – 20% fat.
Your ferret can get its nutritional requirements from the animal protein by eating raw meat protein like:
- Raw meaty bones
- Pet bird like a pigeon
You can also serve cat foods that are marked safe for ferrets, kitten food, chicken baby food, and high quality kibble.
Serve scrambled eggs or boiled eggs as a treat to your ferret.
Confused about the best ferret food? Check out an extensive review for the best kibble in 2021 here.
Refrain from feeding below food items and human food to your ferret:
- Canned food
- Cooked bones
- Dairy products
- Dried fruits
- Baked goods
- Peanut butter
- Dog food
FAQs on Can Ferrets Eat Avocado?
1. Can Ferrets Eat Raspberries?
Raspberries have extremely high sugar content. Hence, ferrets cannot eat raspberries. Eating this fruit can lead to several diseases like Insulinoma(cancer in pancreas cells), dental issues, stones, and intestinal issues in ferrets.
Moreover, since raspberries are low in protein and fat content, they do not serve any nutritional benefit to ferrets.
2. Can Ferrets Eat Apples?
Ferrets cannot eat apples. The reason being that apples are hard to digest. Since the ferret has a short digestive tract, the metabolism rate is high. Apples take long to digest, and so, they can get stuck up in the ferret’s small digestive tract.
Apples, rich in sugar can also lead to many harmful diseases in ferrets. Check out our extensive research on feeding apples to ferrets here.
3. Can Ferrets Eat Cherries?
Ferrets cannot eat cherries, since they can easily get stuck up in the ferret’s body leading to choking and blockage.
Also, cherries have just 1 gram of protein for 100 grams, which is nowhere near the ferret’s nutritional needs. Hence, cherries should not be served to ferrets.
A clear answer to Can Ferrets Eat Avocado is a major NO. Not only do they not serve any nutritional purpose for your ferret, but they also contain persin, which is highly toxic and poisonous to your furry creature.
Avocados also increase the risk of choking in your ferret, which can prove to be fatal. So, as a pet owner, it is always best to serve raw meat to your ferret, rich in protein and fat.
Ferrets are strict carnivores, and they only require meat for their healthy life.